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WBUR is in a unique position to address one of the most important issues of our time—the environment. The public needs a trusted voice to explore, report on and explain this essential topic. The need is real and urgent.
Changes to our climate and the natural world pose serious threats to our communities, our health and our planet—yet there is a lack of environmental coverage in local and national news outlets. Just a few years ago, only 1.2 percent of news headlines in the U.S. addressed environmental topics. This deficit in our media diet has left us poorly informed about the planet that we inhabit. To meet this major challenge, WBUR will build a multimedia, multiplatform reporting team to provide serious, in-depth and compelling environmental coverage.
OUR PLAN: LAUNCHING IN-DEPTH ENVIRONMENTAL REPORTING
We want to do more and there is an almost infinite number of essential stories to tell about the changing environment.
Our plan is to create a team that includes at least three dedicated full-time journalists including a Senior Editor/Reporter, a Reporter and a Multimedia/Digital Reporter. Thanks to the support of our generous community members so far, we have hired our Senior Editor/Reporter and Reporter, and they have already begun their work on reporting the critical issues. Among the issues the unit is addressing are: the impact of climate change, public policy, resilience, conservation, animal life and the natural world, clean air and water, ocean protection, energy and fuel sources, public health, sustainability and impacts on business and the economy.
Our environmental journalists will be based in Boston and report on the environment in Massachusetts for Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Radio Boston. Simultaneously, we will use our national platform – notably On Point and our widely syndicated news program Here & Now produced in conjunction with NPR – to report to the nation on climate change and related issues. We will develop content and reporting partnerships to inform and deliver our coverage, and we will use CitySpace, our new convening space, to reach our audiences in person.
Through our coverage, we intend to achieve the following goals, which have been inspired by studies on media coverage of the environment and the recommendations of a consortium of journalists:
- Ensure that our environmental journalism is accessible and relevant to a general audience.
- Explore the intersection of the environment and other critical issues to demonstrate that the environment cannot be considered in isolation.
- Make our reports more valuable by reporting not just on the issues, but on practical solutions.
- Make our content visible on all platforms by producing consistently excellent on-air reports, online features and events that connect the public with leaders in environmental science and public policy.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
We seek to raise $6 million to launch and sustain this reporting unit: $3 million to establish the team, and $3 million to endow its work going forward.
The overall success of our environmental initiative will be reflected in a public that is better informed—and which, as a result, considers WBUR to be an invaluable resource for insightful environmental journalism. WBUR’s environmental reporting initiative will create groundbreaking reporting and discoveries on humankind’s greatest challenges. Our commitment is for now and for future generations as we work to inform the public and create widespread awareness about the critical environmental issues that we face.